Derbyshire Health and Care System Critical Incident Continues Into Weekend

Due to the significant and sustained demand for urgent and emergency care services, the Derbyshire health and care system continues to declare a critical incident this weekend and take additional steps to prioritise and maintain safe services for patients.

The decision to extend the critical incident through the weekend period was taken at during the system’s Strategic Command meeting at 1600hrs on Friday 22nd July, following the initial calling of the incident on Wednesday afternoon, and reaffirmed at a Tactical Command meeting at 1330hrs on Saturday 23rd July.  The system’s Strategic and Tactical Command Groups continue to manage the incident, working in conjunction with NHS England. The critical incident status will reviewed at the system’s Strategic Command meeting at 1530hrs on Monday 25th July.

During the course of Friday, the improvement trajectory continued in the early morning but levelled and deteriorated during the course of the day, with ambulance handover times at the Emergency Department in Derby and the knock on effect to ambulance community response times becoming a cause for concern.  This was driven by the ongoing challenge of patients requiring admission to a hospital bed but unable to be placed on a ward due to the lack of available discharges for existing patients, creating a bottleneck for incoming patients in ambulances.  Saturday’s position remains critical, but without further deterioration.

Services continue to prioritise patients with the highest level of need and ensure that we continue to be able to manage emergency care, and health and care services continue to work together to resolve the situation.

What members of the public can do to help

Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that despite the challenges faced and the changes highlighted, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them so if someone requires urgent medical help, they should continue to come forward.

Other things which everyone can do to help the NHS right now, include:

  • Only call 999 or attend accident and emergency departments for serious accidents and for genuine emergencies.
  • When needing urgent medical care but it’s not an emergency, visit NHS 111 online or call NHS111 for advice on how to get care at any time of day or night.
  • Urgent treatment centres– like the ones at Osmaston Road in Derby, Ilkeston, Ripley, Darley Dale, Buxton, Samuel Johnson and Robert Peel Community Hospitals can help get the care needed for dealing with the most common issues that people attend emergency departments for. They will often be able to help get the care needed more quickly than accident and emergency departments if suffering from things like a burn or a sprain.
  • For other non-urgent cases when needing medical advice and it’s not an emergency, speak to your GP practice or a pharmacist.
  • Please continue to treat all NHS and care staff with the respect they deserve. Our hard-working staff and volunteers are doing all they can to keep patients safe and supported.
  • If unable to make any NHS appointment, please contact the number on appointment letters so that it can be reallocated to another patient.
  • Check on anyone who has an existing respiratory condition, such as asthma or COPD, to ensure they are okay and not suffering from additional wheeziness or shortness of breath as a result of the pandemic. If anyone has these symptoms, please ensure they are following their care plan with medication, inhalers and oxygen support, and contact NHS 111 to seek clinical advice where required. It is essential that they receive treatment early and seek to prevent an admission to hospital.